Blackout Poetry for the Win!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Okay, so I hardly ever post lesson plans/resources. There is a cornucopia of reasons for why I don't, including:

1) Writing about lesson plans/resources is not fun for me. Maybe this makes me a bad teacher? Oops.
2) I often come up with my lesson plans the week (and sometimes even the morning) that I'm doing them.  Again, maybe this makes me a bad teacher. But because of the disparities in ability level of the population that I teach and the fact that I have close to forty 8th graders in my classes, it's hard for me to plan ahead when I don't know until I teach something whether or not they will be able to master it one day or whether it'll take a week.
3) My lesson plans are very rarely phenomenal. 
4) There's just way too many other things I'd write about, like students long-jumping over piles of barf or the bizarre things I catch myself saying out loud on a daily basis.

But once in a blue moon, there's something we do in class that makes me want to bust through the doors of the teachers' lounge, saloon-style, and shout at the top of my lungs, "ALL OF YOU MUST DO THIS!!!"

Thursday was one of those days.

We had some leftover time on Thursday, and earlier in the week I had discovered some class library books that had been ruined in my move across campus this summer. Some had been torn in half, others had a huge chunk of the middle missing. Obviously, I couldn't throw them away (that's breaking one of the 10 Commandments of Reading), so I decided to tear out all the pages and assign my students some blackout poetry.

The idea comes from this website, Newspaper Blackout, recommended to me by a Love, Teach reader. Basically this guy takes a permanent marker and redacts newspaper articles to create poetry.  So we did, too! I showed my students from examples, talked them through how to not get Sharpie on their desks/heads/faces/tongues, and let them loose with the pages I'd torn out.

IT WAS THE COOLEST. Take a gander.





Doesn't this remind you of that famous line in Vonnegut's God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater? No? Just me? Oh, well. Still cool.



"She took a deep breath and felt all the love whisper to her." Excuse me while I cry ALL THE TEARS


"Less than pleased is all you are."








This is just a handful of the amazing stuff my kids made. It is really cool to see what they turn out, and you'll find yourself in really neat conversations with students about their work. Do it this week, ELA teachers! You'll be surprazed (that's my portmanteau for "surprised" and "amazed." You're welcome.)

Love,

Teach


25 comments:

  1. Surprazed indeed.
    I'm sitting here, stunned.
    You must have been in tears over some of these.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I never tire of your posts. This is a brilliant idea and I'm SO doing it with my 9th graders.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Love it! I did it last year with photocopies, but never thought of using too-well-loved books. (P.S. If they do get Sharpie on the desk, color over it completely with Expo marker. It will erase right off!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What a great tip for getting rid of permanent marker!

      Delete
    2. You can now use an iPad or Android tab for creating blackouts. Just Cut and paste text from the web! The App is called blackout Bard
      iTunes: http://apple.co/1rcXYhl
      Google PlayStore: https://goo.gl/HHuWSy
      Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/blackoutbard/

      Delete
  4. Fourth Grade TeacherSeptember 20, 2014 at 1:50 PM

    Do you think it would work for fourth graders? It sounds amazing!

    ReplyDelete
  5. This works in foreign language as well and is a really great way to increase proficiency. I am going to do this with my French IV students this year, and they will have to explain (in French) why they made the choices they did. I'm really excited!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. So cool! I'm just afraid they might leave something that sounds inappropriate. sigh. 7th graders!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'm so glad I'm not the only terrible lesson planner.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Love this idea and am so inspired by some of the examples! Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Aw I love this! I'm an ESL teacher in Korea (also at an inner city middle school--imagine your job, only with kids that have no idea what you're saying. woof.) but this might actually be a good activity for my kids as well. Gonna give it a whirl! :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. What lovely work! No one but another teacher would realize just how happy a great lesson can make you...And when the students amaze you with their original work, WOW! Great job, Teach!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Love this idea! Hopefully if I try it with my 3rd graders, it will go better than the paper crane disaster of last week.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Awesome! Might try doing this with music instead of words...have kids black out chords or parts of the melody to make something new. Thanks for the inspiration!

    ReplyDelete
  13. My kids did this, but we colored on the pages around the words. They LOVED it, and the look amazing for parent night, etc.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wonderful! Did you show them A Humament? (http://humument.com/). It might be cool for them to see how this kind of work actually gets published, circulated, and (in my case) LOVED in the world beyond the classroom as well.

      Delete
  14. Such a great idea. We are reading Catching Fire and I have several copies that have given up. Blackout Poetry is WAY better than tossing them into the recycling bin.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Wow. That's pretty rad. Thanks for sharing this idea.

    ReplyDelete
  16. LOVE this. Love your blog that I just discovered - I will be a teacher all too soon and your blog helps me form a sense of what its really like out there. I have 6 picture frames that have been hanging on my walls empty (actually they all have the same picture of a little girl that came in the frame) for 6 months. I think I might finally fill them with these poems! Way cool art! Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  17. This Blackout Poetry is fabulous, I really never seen before
    Thanks and Keep Sharing
    Custom Assignment Writing Help for College

    ReplyDelete
  18. The Power of Poetry in the Fight Against Illiteracy custom essay writing services awesome site

    ReplyDelete
  19. There is a need to understanding the importance so we would almost be liable to understand certain other features in detail so well. paraphrasing paragraphs examples

    ReplyDelete
  20. Whoah. Awesome idea. So awesome I had to try it myself, but unfortunately none of my attempted poems came out quite so beautifully. Oh well, thanks for the awesome activity to counteract a boring afternoon.

    ReplyDelete
  21. That is wonderful experience by the team of siemens technology. Their this device help to cut energy consumption at its plants by 15 percent. It's big amount of energy and we should use this device. It not only help to save money but yes save energy as well. Actually, I'm looking a site which have essay writers but this post contain informative content for me.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Business advances can likewise be utilized to exploit an open door that is rapidly brief. These credits are most normally utilized amid the time in which a business land engineer is sitting tight for licenses to be handled for a specific property. Check Cashing

    ReplyDelete

Your comment might take awhile to post, but should be up soon! Thanks for your feedback :) L, T

a95328aaaa